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State v. Suarez

Decided: September 17, 1976.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WALTER SUAREZ, JR., DEFENDANT



Patrick J. McGann, Jr., J.s.c.

Mcgann

Defendant was indicted for violating N.J.S.A. 2A:151-41 in that he possessed various weapons without first having obtained the requisite statutory permit. He moved to dismiss the indictment, alleging that he enjoyed exempt status by virtue of N.J.S.A. 2A:151-43 which, insofar as applicable to this case, provides:

Section 2A:151-41 of this Title does not apply to: * * * b. Members of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the National Guard when on duty * * *

To supplement factual information supplied by affidavit in support of the motion the court ordered and took testimony bearing on the issue raised by defendant.

The undisputed facts are these. Defendant is a gunner's mate, first class, in the United States Naval Reserve. His regular unit assignment is to Fleet Training Group 506, Newport News, Virginia. He was ordered on temporary active duty from May 10 to 22, 1976 and assigned to the Naval Ammunition Depot, Earle, New Jersey, to be trained in the handling of nuclear missiles and torpedoes. While at Earle he was required to attend to naval duties from 0730 to 1600 hours each day. From 1600 hours to 0730 hours the next

morning he was on liberty status. He lived off the base in a nearby motel.

Shortly after 1600 hours on May 13 Suarez left Earle in civilian clothes and drove to Staten Island in his private automobile to visit a relative. On his way back at about 6:30 A.M. the following morning, he was stopped by the Ocean Township Police for a motor vehicle violation. A search of the vehicle (unchallanged here) disclosed the following items:

1 -- 4" gravity knife, black handle, SFB-358-5 -- Made in Japan

1 -- .22 Cal. Sturm Ruger, blue, 6 shot, wood grips, Ser. No. 56540

1 -- .380 Cal. Browning auto. blue, Ser. No. 71N12066 and 2 -- 9 shot clips

1 -- .22 Cal. Remmington rifle, Armsport Scope ...


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